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Skull Motorcyles SR400 – ‘No.019’

Posted on February 8, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Other. 61 comments

Can’t type. Brain melted by amazing bike. Must copy and paste thesaurus instead. Admirable. August. Best. Breathtaking. Choice. Elegant. Elevated. Exalted. Exquisite. Fine. Glorious. Gorgeous. Grand. Great. Lofty. Magnificent. Majestic. Marvelous. Matchless. Noble. Optimum Optimal. Outstanding. Peerless. Prime. Proud. Resplendent. Solid. Splendid. Splendiferous. Splendorous. Standout. Stunning. Sublime. Super. Superior. Superlative. Unrivaled.

All we know is not very much at all. We spotted this bike on Silodrome a few days ago, and they are as perplexed as us. The only source of info we’ve found is off of a Japanese SR400 fansite called The SR Times and as anyone who’s ever tried to translate Japanese to English using Google Translate will know, the technology isn’t quite there just yet. Not by a bloody country mile.

Still, we’re going to give it a bash anyways. Almost every part of the bike is bespoke. The tank is off of a Honda Dream 50. The (s)exhaust is also bespoke, but the internals are from an XS650. The more attentive of you will have by now noticed the hub-centre front steering. It appears to be a bimota unit that has been adapted to fit the SR. “Masterstroke” is the word that come to my mind – and I don’t say that lightly.

In an amazing work of complementary contrast, the rest of the bike has some beautifully understated and very traditional cafe features including the bars, instruments, fibreglass and exhaust. But don’t be fooled, the rear swingarm and suspension is almost as far out there as the front. Almost, but not quite.

The rest of the translation is pretty much incomprehensible clap trap. Or as it says on the site, “full bleed beautifully compact body of the SR a strong impact, as the machine cool finish. Although it is often focused on the height of originality to go, what to sense, the true value of the Skull motorcycle he actually exists.”

I think there’s something in that for all of us…

(via Silodrome)

PS. Hide your boobs with style. Check out our range of bespoke tees in the Pipeburn store.

  • kurtrb2

    “This cool bike has the compact looks of the SR400 engineered with beautifully matched compact bodywork to make a real impact, like a karate chop to the face.
    AAARGH  it just a beautiful working machine mate, and it exists
    Got it?
    I wish I had it!!

  • MrHyde

    OH MY RIDING GOD!!! That is just AWESOME!

  • Carbon-arc

    My jaw just landed on my keyboard

  • Johnnyrauchen

    WUHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU…this is pure awesome !

  • Rockinrouleur

    Weeping over my keyboard…Such beauty….inspired creativity…’Tis too much to takr in…

  • GuitarSlinger

    Stunning . Maybe the best I’ve ever seen in a custom M/C of any genre . I could bang out an encyclopedia’s worth  of adjectives , but even that wouldn’t cover this bike . Sublime might suffice in a pinch . 

    Somebodies got to get the inside skinny on this one put it up here . 

  • revdub


  • Cody Sorells

    I just blew my wod lol how the hell did he get those shocks in there i havent seen one with a dual suspension ,,,pretty dam nice thanks pipe burn you seem to amaze me every day i dont know where u find these bikes but good job

  • Cobrar00

    I was thoroughly impressed, until I saw two rear shocks tucked in right next to each other. WHY?! Build a ‘monoshock’ with two shocks. Yes, I realize I’m being that guy. I just have to admit I got hung up on that, after all the amazing-looking work up front.

    I’m also curious about the oiling modifications, and the front downtube usually contains oil and a filter screen

    • SmokeyTheBear

      Why build a monoshock with two shocks?!? why not? i think the “dual monoshock” embodies the entire build, excessive and unnecessary, but still awesome. 

      To be honest i prolly would have liked the bike better with a traditional front fork setup. This ones awesome but…. something about it really bothers me. and not in a good way. 

    • bigmattie

      Because they tried it with three but they could only get two to fit ?

  • Cody Sorells


    • No, Cody. It’s an SR400. Just like it says in the tilte.

      And while I have you, can I ask you to stop posting a link to yr blog in all yr comments. It’s driving our spam filter wild. I have to individually approve each one… please stop!

      • Congrats on your patience. I would’ve banned the asshole by now if I were you.

        • Cody Sorells

          and dont be a dick charles =) 

      • Cody Sorells

        link taken out

      • Cody Sorells

        no problem will do man sorry about that

  • Cliff Overton


    That is so totally inspirational. 


  • laurentheanimal

    For the love of all that is holy, oh. my. gosh.

  • Evan C.

    I’ll the that-guy too. 

    With all the amazing craftsmanship all over the bike, why does the lighting (the rear in particular) look like such a shmishmortion?

    And really… who give a shit? It’s amazing. 

  • Tom A

    Pipeburn indeed. I should imagine that you would learn pretty quickly the best positioning for your leg. Beautiful bike!

  • BikeRefinery

    Hm, skilled build but look at Stellan Egelands Slugger instead!
    I think this looks strange…

    • GuitarSlinger

      Nice enough ( Egelland’s Slugger ) but not even in the same league as this little gem 

      Slugger = Brutish OTT violent looking Sci Fi  custom 

      SR400 = Lithe Sublime gem of an M/C

  • Coxster

    Imagination + Genius + etc etc.  Who says the most amazing custom around has to be a 130 cubic inch V-twin . . . .

  • AlwaysOnTwo

    Okay, one little tiny question here.  With all the wonderfully wrenched mechanicals and visual piza, does it work??  I mean, if the thing won’t actually go down the road and behave in a manner at least a little less than with deadly intent….couldn’t find any vids, any clues??

    • bigmattie

      Skull produced it a while back as a PR piece to showcase their skills more than anything (hece the twin shocks shoe-horned in to where a single could have done the job, XS 650 high pipe,Honda Dream 50 tank and one off tail/seat unit).

      In all of the local Japanese MC mag coverage since its creation, I have never seen any decent reference to how it rides either !

      God damn it is sexy though.

  • Guitarslinger

    I’ve looked at this bike now ( both here and on Silodrome’s site ) going on twenty times at least today and the thing that keeps hitting me is the ‘ Timelessness ‘ of this M/C . Was it built yesterday ( the technology involved says yes ) or thirty years ago ( the styling … again says yes )

    That my friends is pure unadulterated Genius to pull this trait  off ( Timelessness ) Now if someone would only be kind enough to do a full and accurate translation of the original article as well as a video or two of this masterpiece running 

  • Benjamin Helton

    Sorry, I don’t get it at all. The dropping the forks in place of a bunch of linkages looks to have introduced multiple additional points of failure.

    • redrumracer

      I’m pretty sure this is more of an exercise in design and execution than in producing a purely practical, low maintenance machine

    • Mpress

      i see all the whizbang-ness of it. but it’s too damn weird.

  • Anton

    That is the most ridiculously amazing thing I have ever seen! I can’t even comprehend it!!
    Mind absolutely blown

  • Ccc40821

    Am I the only one wondering about the extremely limited steering lock of this otherwise nice motorcycle? As we all know it’ll work well at speed, but it’ll be a right pain when parking or making a 24-point u-turn. 

    • Ccc40821

      Guess I am….

  • Frizzyrick

    What is the rod between the rear shocks?

    • With limited view angles, I would have to say it looks to be an inverted ‘pro-link’ type arrangement. Just above the muffler, on the left side shot, you can see the multiple mounting points, and on the dirty-pic shot (lol) you can see that the shocks extend below the swingarm.

      • Frizzyrick

        K. so the swingarm pushes up on that rod and that pivots the link to push down on the shocks. Right? Neat!

    • Good question…

  • Thanks for the mention guys, glad it wasn’t just us who had their brain melted by this bike!


    Absolutely Badass.

  • Anthonytheartist

    Terminator Salvation Style SR400 Awesome!

  • With how brilliant the whole bike is, I’m a little saddened by what looks to be a rusty chain. After all the work that went into it, I wouldn’t think simple maintenance would get overlooked like that. Pretty much just nitpicking, but it stuck out for me.

    • Exactly the same thought here. I think it’s intentional – otherwise the thing would be so goddamn perfect it would just vaporise into a ball of cool-ass light and blind everyone.

    • Mpress

      i don’t think that is rust on the chain. i’ve used Regina chains that have a copper colored roller
      and from what i see it looks to be one.

  • somedudeonthenet

    I had my wife, native Japanese, translate the page for us… this is my summary.

    This is very much a “show-off how cool we think motorcycles are” build from this shop. They’ll build ANY type of motorcycle… Japanese, British, Harleys, etc…

    They goal was to create a wild Bimota-style front end, but still use basic and simple cafe racer parts and inspiration, while keeping the SR400 silhouette.

    The exhaust was run high to vibrate against the rider’s leg to add to the feeling and experience during the ride. Muffler is from an XS650

    The dual shocks in the back were used to showcase the handmade link-type suspension, and to balance out the wildness of the front end.

    • nice work Some Dude on the Internet With a Japanese Wife. Regards to the Mrs.

      • GuitarSlinger

        Yes . Thanks as well  , but I’d still like to see the article in its entirety properly translated . 

        Damn !!! Even after 24 hours this bike is still killing me as well as haunting my imagination 

    • Dozo, dude!

  • Lee Kinney

    I want a Defazio hub in the WORST way!
    Love this bike for it’s engineering and the juevos to actually build instead of theorize.
    Plus it looks cool.

  • glenn

    Amazing bike.

  • We asked Skull MC for a video of the bike running. This is their response…
    “Surely the bike can run cheerfully. But we can’t get a title(MOT test) because Japanese law is rigid for builder.So we don’t have some videos, sorry.And the bike build in 4 years half ago. It just the steering circle is little.Our boss build the bike  when he first open our shop.Now he has come a long distance in skill and can build every bike with running.Painting, Front-end, Hub Center Steering, etc, All ONE OFF.”

  • Robert

    surely someone reading this posting is bilingual. i can help with any future translation from filipino or korean. if you are reading this and you speak both english and japanese, let the editors know you will translate for them

  • Adam Santella

    Hide your boobs with style. I think there’s something in that for all of us…

  • Miho Yamamoto

    The bike can run. But can’t ride in Japan. Because the bike cannot let car inspection go through in law.
    He can build anything bike now. 

    • Yanma_pontyan

      I’m sorry about my poor English.

  • Where the hell did that come from?


  • George Lee

    I’ve got it saved on my desktop , now I can marvel at it all the time 😀

  • Kailum99

    and how the shit do u turn it? O.o

  • th8410

    i think i just impregnated my keyboard!

  • Kur Kzak

    VERY COOL!  
    Hubcenter steering does work, but routine maintanence of all that linkage can be a bear when wear sets in.   Due to limited travel inside the front swingarm, the SR400 would take more work to turn around.

  • gershon

    Found the guys that built the bike if its still relevant to you.